This week Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford announced the Government’s new Connecting Regional Communities Program would allocate funds to “internet of things” projects.
“We know how important internet connectivity is for farmers, small businesses and families — that’s why we’re prioritising this important initiative,” Ms Pulford said.
Ms Pulford said the funding would help farmers and other businesses in the North West, Macalister, Serpentine and Goulburn-Murray regions connect to the latest digital technology.
The internet of things describes the technology that enables everyday devices and machines to be connected and networked.
In the agriculture sector, this includes remote sensing, monitoring and data collection to optimise farm practices. It allows more precise automation of farm equipment, for instance in the application of fertilisers.
Ms Pulford’s office said part of the $45 million in CRCP funding would also go towards:
REMOVING regional mobile phone black spots;
TRIALS to improve broadband in industrial and business precincts including Morwell and Horsham; and
EXTENDING regional Victoria’s free Wi-Fi program, already implemented in Ballarat.
The internet of things has the potential to improve farm productivity and supply chain efficiencies.
Victorian farms and agriculture businesses are poised to embrace these technologies. The CRCP will provide opportunities for pilot projects to accelerate rollout.